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Food Truck Information

City Council adopted a mobile food vendor policy to encourage entrepreneurship in the City of Hickory, as well as, to encourage vibrancy in the local parks and downtown.

Food Trucks on Private Property

The City of Hickory has limited regulations related to mobile food vendor activities on private property. The Land Development Code does not require food trucks to obtain a commercial zoning permit, but prohibits food trucks from operating on residentially zoned property, unless a part of a city approved event. Food trucks, depending on size, may also be prohibited from being stored on residential property within the city's zoning area. All food trucks must obtain applicable North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Catawba County Environmental Health approvals.

Food Trucks on Public Property

The City of Hickory has adopted a city policy that allows mobile food vendors to be permitted to operate at specified city operated parks and public parking lots in the downtown area. Vendors will be required to comply with the policy's guidelines and to submit a complete application with application fee annually to the City of Hickory Permit Center. Applications and payment must be submitted in person. The City of Hickory will have up to ten (10) business days to review the application. Once approved, vendors will be issued a sticker and will be able to operate in the approved locations on a first come, first serve basis during permitted hours. At this time, city staff will not be reserving spaces for vendors or coordinating when vendors plan to operate. Vendors will need to contact the Parks, Recreation, & Sports Tourism Department to ensure they are permitted to setup during scheduled events in city parks. Violations of the city's guidelines may result in revocation of the mobile food vendor permit.

Background Check

As part of the policy guidelines, all mobile food vendors are required to complete a background check. The background check must cover each employee's and volunteer's criminal history for the past 10 years and his/her sex offender status. Applicants can use BIB Secure Volunteer to request a background check that will comply with the city's requirements. Please note that the Secure Volunteer platform is provided by a third party service and that the City of Hickory does not classify mobile food vendors as city volunteers for any purpose. If you submit through BIB, please notify the City of Hickory Permit Center to ensure your application is processed in a timely manner.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I obtain a Certificate of Insurance?

For more information, please contact the Permit Center at (828) 323-7410 or via email at

Guidelines Application